A young woman with dreams of becoming a veterinary nurse has spent the last five months in prison.
A young woman with dreams of becoming a veterinary nurse has spent the last five months in prison. John Gass

Vet student, RSPCA volunteer turns meth-dealing 'middleman'

A FORMER legal secretary and RSPCA volunteer became a meth "middleman" to feed her drug habit after she became hooked while studying to become a veterinary nurse.

Natasha Anne Keir, now 24, appeared in custody in the Maroochydore District Court on Monday after serving five months in prison for breaching parole on a separate eight-month sentence for disqualified driving.

Three days from her full-time release date, Keir was dealt another term of imprisonment after she pleaded guilty to supplying methylamphetamine, possessing the drug and a pipe used to smoke it across a week in August 2017.

The court heard Keir had supplied or offered to supply one "point" of meth on two occasions, a gram for $450 on another and an "eight-ball", equivalent to 3.5 grams for $950.

Police intercepted her on her way to execute the last deal and found her in possession of a smaller amount of the drug, the utensil and a $50 note suspected to be the proceeds of drugs.

During a police interview Keir admitted to acting as the "middle man" by doing street-level deals for her source to feed her own habit.

The court heard while Keir was on bail for these charges, she was caught with methylamphetamine at the Maroochydore Court House in May last year, and in the watchhouse in July.

She had also showed up to six of a required 15 drug tests, and returned positive readings at all.

Defence lawyer Chelsea Emery told the court Keir came from a loving and supportive family, who were present in court on Monday.

She said a real estate agency where her mother worked was aware of Keir's incarceration and they had offered her a job upon release.

Ms Emery said the former Mountain Creek High School student left in Year 11 to work in retail, before she became a legal secretary and later worked as a dog groomer and RSPCA volunteer.

She said Keir digressed from an "occasional" drug user to an addict when she used drugs to get herself through "crucial parts" of study to become a veterinary nurse.

Ms Emery told the court her drug use worsened after the family dog jumped out of a moving car, and Keir made the decision to put it down.

After a drug-free period, Keir again reverted to drugs after a friend committed suicide.

Ms Emery told the court, while not an excuse, her client appeared to have an "addictive personality".

Judge Glen Cash QC said Keir had been incarcerated long enough to have "broken the physical addiction" to the drug, and if she chose to use upon release she would return to jail.

Judge Cash sentenced Keir to 12 months' imprisonment, with a parole release date of March 21 to align with her existing full-time released date.

He told Keir she was at a "crossroads" and needed to embrace her family's help, or "face the inevitable consequences of finding yourself in the dock".